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Br J Sports Med. 2018 Apr;52(7):439-455. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-099027. Epub 2018 Mar 14.

IOC consensus statement: dietary supplements and the high-performance athlete.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, St Andrews University, St Andrews, UK.
2
Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia.
3
Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Melbourne, Australia.
4
Department of Neurology, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland.
5
Department of Family & Consumer Sciences (Human Nutrition), University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA.
6
School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.
7
Western Australian Institute of Sport, Mount Claremont, Australia.
8
Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
9
Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science, Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
10
College of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, UK.
11
The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sport, Oslo, Norway.
12
Institute of Biochemistry, Center for Preventive Doping Research, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany.
13
Human Physiology Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussel, Belgium.
14
Department of Human Biology and Movement Sciences, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
15
Human Health & Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
16
BMJ, London, UK.
17
Department of Science and Medicine, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Montreal, Canada.
18
English Institute of Sport, Loughborough, UK.
19
Medical and Scientific Commission, International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, Switzerland.
20
Medical and Scientific Department, International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, Switzerland.
21
Anti-Doping Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden.
22
Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, Health and Performance, Centre University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
23
Medical and Scientific Commission Games Group, International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

Nutrition usually makes a small but potentially valuable contribution to successful performance in elite athletes, and dietary supplements can make a minor contribution to this nutrition programme. Nonetheless, supplement use is widespread at all levels of sport. Products described as supplements target different issues, including (1) the management of micronutrient deficiencies, (2) supply of convenient forms of energy and macronutrients, and (3) provision of direct benefits to performance or (4) indirect benefits such as supporting intense training regimens. The appropriate use of some supplements can benefit the athlete, but others may harm the athlete's health, performance, and/or livelihood and reputation (if an antidoping rule violation results). A complete nutritional assessment should be undertaken before decisions regarding supplement use are made. Supplements claiming to directly or indirectly enhance performance are typically the largest group of products marketed to athletes, but only a few (including caffeine, creatine, specific buffering agents and nitrate) have good evidence of benefits. However, responses are affected by the scenario of use and may vary widely between individuals because of factors that include genetics, the microbiome and habitual diet. Supplements intended to enhance performance should be thoroughly trialled in training or simulated competition before being used in competition. Inadvertent ingestion of substances prohibited under the antidoping codes that govern elite sport is a known risk of taking some supplements. Protection of the athlete's health and awareness of the potential for harm must be paramount; expert professional opinion and assistance is strongly advised before an athlete embarks on supplement use.

KEYWORDS:

diet; performance

PMID:
29540367
PMCID:
PMC5867441
DOI:
10.1136/bjsports-2018-099027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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